I want to be able to teach health to every student that comes into my classroom, can you teach me to do that? (SDEP Health Education Applicant).
Public schools, spurred by federal education reform (NCLB, IDEA 2004), strive to increase the performance of all students through standards, accountability, inclusive classrooms, access to the general education curriculum, and providing teachers qualified in the subjects they teach. As middle and secondary classrooms become increasingly inclusive, some special educators may not be prepared to teach content (Brouk, 2005; Washburn-Moses, 2005), and some general educators may not be prepared to address diverse learning needs (McClanahan, 2008; Ness, 2008) . This mismatch between the reality of today's schools and traditional teacher preparation (Hardman, 2009) has led to the development of new models for teacher education that integrate or merge special education and general education. Teacher education programs fall into three categories: discrete, integrated, or merged (Blanton & Pugach, 2007). Most teacher preparation is provided via the discrete model of separate general and special education programs. Recently professional organizations have questioned whether discrete programs adequately prepare either special or general education teachers for today's schools (Blanton & Pugach, 2007).
Integrated and merged models are two approaches to combining special and general education pedagogy for teacher education. In an integrated model, separate general and special education licensure programs are retained but faculty work together to develop a set of courses and/or field experiences in which special education candidates learn about general education curriculum and instruction and vice-versa. Elementary and/or secondary education and special education programs are coordinated in such a way that candidates can readily add special education licensure to their general education licensure (see for examples Dieker & Berb, 2002; Hardeman, 2009; VanLaarhoven, Munk, Lynch, Bosma, & Rouse, 2007). In merged programs, faculty in general and special education collaborate to develop one program in which all candidates receive licensure in both general and special education. Merged programs are developed through the extensive and deliberate collaboration of general and special education faculty to redesign the teacher education curriculum and field experiences. However, while several merged programs have been developed to prepare elementary candidates, programs for middle/secondary candidates are scarce (Griffin & Pugach, 2007).
When faculty from Curriculum and Instruction and Special Education consider creating a merged secondary program, many questions and issues arise. For example, what varied concerns do faculty members from these respective departments have regarding the preparation of secondary educators and can those concerns be addressed in one merged program? Coming from different disciplines, faculty may have misconceptions about one another's views of learning and pedagogy (Robinson & Buly, 2007) and if so, how will these be clarified and resolved? How do faculty members reach a shared vision of what teacher candidates need to know and be able to do in order to be effective in today's diverse, inclusive classrooms? Once reached, how is that vision translated into coherent curriculum and field experiences, that are hallmarks of quality teacher education (Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005)? How can teacher candidates gain a depth of knowledge and experience in content-specific pedagogy (Shulman, 1987) along with instructional strategies for teaching the full range of adolescent learners? How can field experiences be designed so that candidates can teach and collaborate across general and special education? How do faculty coordinate the many facets of program delivery across university departments? And finally, how will faculty learn from the early years of implementation and improve upon the initial design? These questions were addressed in the development and implementation of the Secondary Dual Educator's Program (SDEP). This article describes the process used by cross-department faculty to develop the program design and components and how program evaluation led to revisions that strengthened the program.
Collaborative Program Development
Impetus for Program Development
In 2004, three secondary education faculty members from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and four faculty members from the Special Education Department began discussing their concerns about secondary teacher preparation. Curriculum and Instruction faculty described the need for teacher candidates to be adequately prepared to teach students with the range of learning needs found in secondary classrooms, and in particular, how to support struggling readers and English Language Learners (ELL). Graduates of the secondary education program had asked faculty: "Why wasn't I prepared to work with students with special needs?" One faculty member shared her own experiences as a new teacher:
I am haunted by the image of a young adolescent boy with tears running down his face as his mother screamed at him for failing my course. He was reading at second grade level but I had no idea how to differentiate the curriculum for him. As a first year teacher, I had had no preparation in how to reach students with special needs in my classroom. He failed in my class because I had failed him. I want teacher candidates who graduate from this program to know how to reach all their students. (Faculty member in Curriculum and Instruction)
Special education faculty discussed the need for their teacher candidates to receive more content area preparation in order to serve as co-teachers/consultants in general education classrooms or to teach content to students in other settings. Graduates of the special education program asked: 'Why didn't we learn more about the general education curriculum?" These concerns were also reflected in the literature, as cited above. Surveys conducted with secondary teacher candidates in the discrete general education and special education programs revealed that a significant number would have been interested in a merged secondary program if it had been available.
Finding Common Ground
The group of cross-departmental faculty agreed to meet on a voluntary basis over a period of twelve months to develop a proposal for a merged secondary program. Since 1997, the Graduate School of Education has offered a merged elementary education and special education licensure program with a master's degree preparing over 150 teachers. The Inclusive Elementary Educators Program (IEEP) has its own curriculum of merged pedagogy with field experiences in inclusive classrooms. Although the merged secondary program would need to be very different, the IEEP model served as a starting point for discussing possible program designs. Faculty met on their own time, sometimes on campus, sometimes in one another's homes. They established ground rules for working together (e.g., all team members have equal say, all ideas are worth hearing) that cultivated collegial relationships across departmental lines. To make the most effective use of time and effort, meetings were preplanned, efficient, carefully documented, and adeptly facilitated. The initial meetings were conducted using the PATH Planning process (O'Brien, Pearpoint, & Kahn, 2010) to support faculty in envisioning the ideal merged secondary program. Faculty shared values, …